In the first of four public consultations yesterday evening, Budge revealed for the first time that the cost of the refurbishment was an estimated £11 to £12 million and said that details on how the remaining finance would be sourced will be disclosed in the near future.
The capacity of the main stand will increase from around 4,000 to 7,000, taking the total capacity of the stadium to around 21,000.
Reiterating that the club would remain debt free following the project, with the financial support of the fans, including those currently paying into the Foundation of Hearts, to be utilised, Hearts hope the new ground will be ready for September 2017. It will include new Uefa-compliant changing rooms, hospitality areas, shop and ticket office. An east-facing rooftop restaurant is also planned.
Budge said: “The proposed plan for funding will be made available very shortly.
“This programme is going to cost around £11-£12 m although we already have more than half of that sitting there ready to go and we have a plan to make up the rest, which I’m very confident about and I’ll tell you about that shortly.
“When I took over running the club two years ago, we had a five-year plan [which] was about ensuring financial stability and rebuilding the Hearts brand around values we could all share and be proud of. It was also about ensuring the supporters and the community were part of everything the club did and do in the future.
“Redeveloping the stadium was absolutely not part of that five-year plan. However, circumstances, performance and reaction from supporters have all been such that it became fairly clear that, if we could, we would accelerate the redevelopment plan.
“I would stress that not all of the detail has been finalised yet [but] we have an aggressive timescale.”